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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINE

Handling Service of Lawsuits and Subpoenas

Guideline Contents

  • Responsible University Officer:
    Sharon Taylor, Assoc. VP, Financial Management
  • Primary Guideline Contact:
    Felissa Waynick, Risk Manager

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The purpose of this guideline is to provide guidance to campus employees concerning the appropriate response to process servers attempting to serve a lawsuit or subpoena on campus.

DEFINITIONS

Summons and Complaint

A civil lawsuit is commenced by the service of a Summons and Complaint on the parties named as defendants in the lawsuit. The Summons notifies the Party served that a response to the lawsuit must be filed with the court within thirty (30) days. A Complaint sets forth the factual and legal basis of plaintiff’s claims.

Subpoenas

A subpoena commands a person or entity to attend a hearing, trial or deposition at a particular time and place to testify as a witness and/or to produce documents or other tangible objects in a legal proceeding. It is the equivalent to a direct order from a court.

“Appearance” Subpoena

An ‘appearance” subpoena requires the personal attendance of a witness. In most instances, a subpoena must be personally served on the witness required to appear. A demand for the payment of witness fees should always be made at the time of service. In civil cases, subpoenaed witnesses are entitled to receive “ordinary witness fees” of $35.00 per day and $.20 per mile, round trip (Government Code §68093).

“Records Only” Subpoena

A ‘records only” subpoena requires the production of documents. A subpoena for CSU business records must be served on a UNIVERSITY RECORDS CUSTODIAN. Only these individuals/positions are authorized to accept, respond to or release University records or information. Process servers attempting to serve a subpoena or other orders of a court should be directed to one of the UNIVERSITY RECORDS CUSTODIAN or to Risk Management as noted below.

GUIDELINE STATEMENT

If a person attempts to deliver a document to your office, you should not accept (i.e., take possession or sign for) the document; you should direct the person serving the document to one of the UNIVERSITY RECORDS CUSTODIAN or to Risk Management as noted below.

Service of a Lawsuit

Service of Process

Personnel on CSU campuses lack authority to accept service of a document (i.e., a Summons and Complaint) on behalf of CSU or CSULB. It makes no difference whether the lawsuit names the California State University, Long Beach, the Board of Trustees, or CSU as a defendant. Process servers should be directed to accomplish service at the Office of General Counsel (OGC), 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802. They may also be directed to the OGC website at ( http://www.calstate.edu/gc/service_of_process_subpoenas.shtml ), which contains information on proper legal service on the California State University.

The campus President may accept service on his/her own behalf or may refer the process server to the Office of General Counsel. Individually named defendants who are CSULB employees may accept personal service of the Summons and Complaint on his/her own behalf.

Service of Subpoenas

The University has instituted procedures for handling “Appearance and Records” and “Records Only” subpoenas. These procedures are intended to avoid the release of information in response to an invalid subpoena. The release of personal information in response to an invalid subpoena is a violation of the privacy rights of the person or persons whose protected information is released. Improper release of private records may subject the University to legal liability.

Appearance” Subpoena
The individual named in the subpoena is the only person that may accept personal service on his/her behalf. If the individual named in the subpoena is away from his/her work location when service is attempted, the process server should be advised as to a better time to return. The process server should never be supplied with an employee’s home address or other personal information.

“Records Only” Subpoena
A ‘records only” subpoena requires the production of documents. Process servers attempting to serve a subpoena for CSU business records or other orders of a court should be directed to one of the UNIVERSITY RECORDS CUSTODIAN as noted below. Only these individuals/positions are authorized to accept, respond to or release University records or information.

PROCEDURES

Process to Accept Legal Documents

Prior to informing the process server where to go, please check that the document is intended for, at a minimum; (1) the University (CSU, CSULB, Trustee, etc.) or; (2) the President of the University. If the document is not intended or directed to either, then inform the process server that no representative at the University can accept the document and that the server will have to locate and deliver the document to the individual named.

If in doubt, please direct the process server to the Risk Management Office for further assistance.

UNIVERSITY RECORDS CUSTODIAN

Student Records/Information
Director of Student Conduct and Ethical Development
Located in the Office of the Student Conduct and Ethical Development, USU 219

Faculty Personnel (includes librarians and coaches) Records/Information
Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
Located in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, BH 303

Staff Personnel Records/Information (including payroll records for all employees)
Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Development
Located in Human Resources Management, BH 335

Non-Personnel Records or where it is not possible to determine the specific subject of the request
Risk Manager,Risk Management Office
Located in Procurement & Contractual Services, BH 371B

This information is a guide and provides information for the appropriate response to process servers in most situations. Questions about situations involving service of process or subpoenas should be directed to the Risk Manager at extension 5-2396.

FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Guideline Contact Felissa Waynick (562) 985-2396 felissa.waynick@csulb.edu
Secondary Guideline Contact Andrew Calderon (562) 985-4558 andrew.calderon@csulb.edu

APPENDICES AND RELATED INFORMATION

Appendices (if any):

  • N/A

Related Chancellor’s Office Policies:

Other Related Information:

  • NA

FAQ

  • N/A

HISTORY

Issue Date: September 2004

Last Review Date: December 2015

Amended Date: December 2015

Amended Description: N/A